September 10, 2009
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RPRN) 09/10/09 — Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, "You lie!" at President Barack Obama during Wednesday's presidential address to Congress
Rep. Joe Wilson’s tactics at presidential address reprehensible
By Matthew B. Zeidman
During the past several months, opponents to ongoing healthcare reform in the United States have never been afraid to appear uncivil. They’ve shown up to town hall meetings, legislators’ offices and street corners all over America, convinced that red-faced screaming and slogan-chanting would win the day over calm, rational argument and persuasion.
These self-proclaimed “teabaggers” have seemingly set out to prove “the louder you are, the righter you are,” and if that is indeed their unofficial motto, they can crown Rep. Joe Wilson their newest hero.
Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, took it upon himself to address President Obama in the middle of his televised address Wednesday night, screaming, “You lie!” and wagging his finger in response to Obama’s insistence that illegal immigrants would not be offered federally subsidized healthcare under existing plans for reform.
Though Wilson issued an official apology a short time later, expressing regret for his “lack of civility,” his actions truly epitomized the character of the anti-reform (and, more broadly, the anti-Obama) movement at large. Namely, that character is “self-importance.”
Self-importance is the only explanation as to why an elected representative would treat a presidential address like a town hall meeting, abandoning established decorum and spitting an accusation of dishonesty at President Obama in the middle of his speech.
That same conceit can be seen in widely disseminated town hall footage, where teabaggers call their legislators out for daring to respond to their communications with a form letter or show up at their offices and demand they come outside and make unplanned speeches to the crowd.
Apparently, teabaggers are so important and their cause so righteous, they need not follow the rules of society or show the slightest respect for anyone who disagrees with them or doesn’t bend to their will. It doesn’t matter if Obama is president of the United States; if he doesn’t agree with the teabaggers, he doesn’t even deserve the chance to speak his mind without interruption.
It’s sad that our nation has come to the point where honest debate and cooperation are no longer possible and that every major policy change is merely a battle of wills between two diametrically opposed sides. No one wins when any one side decides, “It’s my way or bust.” Unfortunately, it seems as if that’s the teabaggers’ second unofficial motto.
Matthew B. Zeidman is a freelance reporter working for Hollywood Today, RushPRnews, and other news outlets.
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